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Workers’ comp, JTAC bills pass full Senate

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Legislation out of the House of Representatives reconfiguring workers’ compensation in Indiana passed the Senate Wednesday and goes back to the House with some changes.

House Bill 1320 increases nonmedical workers’ compensation caps to $390,000 per injury for injuries happening after July 1, 2014. It also increases the average weekly wage used to calculate compensation for nonmedical temporary partial or total disability, and for total permanent disability; on or after July 1, 2014, the average weekly wage used will be $1,170. That’s a $195 increase over the wage used for injuries that would occur today.

The bill also makes changes to payment rates as compared to Medicare. The legislation passed the Senate 43-7.

The Judicial Technology and Automation bill, HB 1393, passed the Senate 50-0. The bill establishes a judicial technology oversight committee, requires the Division of State Court Administration to develop and implement a standard protocol for sending and receiving court data by the end of the year, and increases the automated record keeping fee by $2 for two years, among other things. HB 1393 returns to the House with amendments.

The Senate also passed HB 1482 by a vote of 39-11. The bill allows a court to expunge records concerning misdemeanor convictions and minor Class D felony convictions under certain circumstances, and it gives judges discretion concerning some more serious felony convictions. The bill returns to the House with amendments.

On Thursday, the Senate concurred with House amendments to SB 125. The bill, which creates a commission on improving the status of children, a Department of Child Services oversight committee, and establishes a local child fatality review team in each county and a statewide child fatality review committee, passed 48-1 and is ready for enrollment. The introduced version of the bill was prepared by the Department of Child Services Interim Study Committee.

Also on Wednesday, the House voted 93-0 to approve Senate Bill 433 addressing abandoned property issues. The bill establishes a procedure to allow a county executive to dispose of certain properties that didn’t sell at a tax sale to a person who is able to repair and maintain the property. It also says that someone who enters or refuses to leave a vacant or abandoned property after having been barred from it by a court order or law enforcement officer commits criminal trespass. SB 433 was returned to the Senate with amendments. 

SB 285 regarding wavier of the right to remonstrate against annexation passed the House 93-0. It provides that if someone waives his or her right to remonstrate against an annexation as part of a contract with a municipality for providing sewer service to the property, then that release isn’t binding on a successor in title of the property under certain circumstances.  It also returns to the Senate after being amended.

The 2013 legislative session is scheduled to end April 29.

 

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  1. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  2. If the end result is to simply record the spoke word, then perhaps some day digital recording may eventually be the status quo. However, it is a shallow view to believe the professional court reporter's function is to simply report the spoken word and nothing else. There are many aspects to being a professional court reporter, and many aspects involved in producing a professional and accurate transcript. A properly trained professional steno court reporter has achieved a skill set in a field where the average dropout rate in court reporting schools across the nation is 80% due to the difficulty of mastering the necessary skills. To name just a few "extras" that a court reporter with proper training brings into a courtroom or a deposition suite; an understanding of legal procedure, technology specific to the legal profession, and an understanding of what is being said by the attorneys and litigants (which makes a huge difference in the quality of the transcript). As to contracting, or anti-contracting the argument is simple. The court reporter as governed by our ethical standards is to be the independent, unbiased individual in a deposition or courtroom setting. When one has entered into a contract with any party, insurance carrier, etc., then that reporter is no longer unbiased. I have been a court reporter for over 30 years and I echo Mr. Richardson's remarks that I too am here to serve.

  3. A competitive bid process is ethical and appropriate especially when dealing with government agencies and large corporations, but an ethical line is crossed when court reporters in Pittsburgh start charging exorbitant fees on opposing counsel. This fee shifting isn't just financially biased, it undermines the entire justice system, giving advantages to those that can afford litigation the most. It makes no sense.

  4. "a ttention to detail is an asset for all lawyers." Well played, Indiana Lawyer. Well played.

  5. I have a appeals hearing for the renewal of my LPN licenses and I need an attorney, the ones I have spoke to so far want the money up front and I cant afford that. I was wondering if you could help me find one that takes payments or even a pro bono one. I live in Indiana just north of Indianapolis.

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